Saturday, June 26, 1869

Dear Diary,

Life seems to have rounded a corner, as they say. The best news of all is that my dear ward, Mary, is enjoying a change for the better. Her health improves almost hourly and her fever has broken. She still does not leave her room, but she is awake, more lively, and in posession of her appetite again. I think that once she is entirely recovered, I shall take her to Capalini’s for one of those mechanical toy wonders sold there.

Leaving Mary’s health in the care of her physicians for an afternoon, I joined Mr. Creighton for an air tour. The destiation was South America. We toured some ancient ruins in the rainforest. They were Incan, I believe. In considertion to we ladies, Mr. Creighton erected a small tiki hut to shelter us while we took tea. Later, we hunted for two items that our host had stashed away. One was an idol from another culture and the other was a mask from… well, from another culture, this one from another world! We ended the excursion with a photograph. I wonder where I shall hang it.

Later, I enjoyed a ride with my new horse. I have not named him, yet. He is a splendid roan from the Carriage House at Caledon Eyre. I took him south, where we explored the duchies of Cymru and Greystoke. A great bridge connects Oxbridge Village to Cymru to Greystoke to Kintyre. I may have my geography confused, but I think those are the names of the regions through which I travelled. At one point, the bridge even descends beneath the sea and becomes a tunnel. The bridge is a masterpiece of architecture. I am amazed that it is not included amongst the wonders of Caledon.

I returned home from a ride late last night. Mr. MacBeth came home and constructed his new carriage house. It is beautiful and it fits perfectly in the rear corner of the lot. We enjoyed a few private moments together on the dock. During our conversation, we exchanged permission to call one another by our respective given names when we are alone. The only other person who calls me by my given name is my friend Captain Wytchwood, and even we rarely do so except in the most casual of conversations. To call Michael by his first name felt very intimate and special. It feels almost as though we share a quiet secret.

That delightful moment was interrupted, whether for good or for ill I know not, when my friend, Miss Wendyslippers Charisma, happened by. After an awkward greeting, Mr. MacBeth went to his hobbit house to pack up some furnishings whilst I entertained my guest. Miss Charisma and I are both exceedingly worried about out mutual friend, my neighbor Mr. Pennell, who is abroad this week in order to take his physician’s advice regarding some medical issues. Excluding our concerns on his account, we passed the remainder of the night in pleasing conversation.

Miss Charisma, I should note, is a “doll.” She is sort of a clockwork person accustomed to being a plaything for others. Naturally, then, she is ill accustomed to Caledonan custom and law pertaining to the equality of all avatars. It is illegal to discriminate against avatars for their physical forms, be they human, humanoid, furry, mechanical, or other. She is also a bit taken aback by our custom of formality between strangers and casual acquaintances. We call people by their proper titles or by Mr., Mrs., or Miss. Dolls, by constrast, call those who play with them by their first names or even by endearing nicknames. I fear equality may be difficult for my friend to become used to. Similarly, as she ended our evening together with an affectionate hug, I fear that intimacy will be difficult for me to get used to.

All things considered, my life is improving by leaps and bounds. The only reason for concern is something that Miss Charisma let slip. She is a dollmaker by trade, and it appears as though the devilish Mr. Plutonian has sent more than one of his underlings to her for transformation. I shudder to think what his designs against me may be. I am just glad to have sold the store. Now, I can repay the demon and be free of him. Perhaps that is the best news of all!

Your cheerful,

–Miss Palabra Puddlegum–

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